Intentional Fortitude

The road to ‘On-Hold Hell’ is paved with good intentions by your IT Department. 


If you think about it, members of your IT Department wouldn’t knowingly sabotage your carefully crafted marketing campaign in the final stage of the advertising cycle.  At the moment where all of your hard work in the earlier stages of the cycle has been accomplished; they wouldn’t intentionally dismantle your image - would they?

Through the strategic placement of your external marketing efforts, you have introduced your company.  You have created awareness of the services you provide. You’ve shared the benefits of doing business with you and reinforced those benefits through testimonials from satisfied customers. You have created a call to action which has encouraged members of your target market to contact you. 

Then, at the most crucial point in the advertising cycle, when the potential client takes the time call you; it is at that moment where you have the opportunity to reinforce the foundation you have been building through your external marketing campaign. The signature moment where you can engage your captive audience and tell them exactly what you want them to know about you.  The customer is literally right where you want them. Do you really think your IT professional would go out of their way to obliterate the image you have created for your business?

If the answer is YES, then you have a different issue that needs to be addressed.

However, if the answer is NO, then the next obvious question is, ‘Why?’  Why would they choose to use the default on-hold program that came with the phone system?  Why won’t they load the custom on-hold advertising program designed specifically to connect with your customers?  The answers we hear fall into three categories: Time, Expense, and Importance.

1) Time.  ‘I am just too busy.’ IT Technicians feel they cannot spare the time necessary to load the custom audio file into the system.  In actuality, the time it takes for them to explain to me how much they have to do, the number of trouble tickets in the queue, and how they are terribly understaffed to begin with, is precisely how long it will take to load the file into the MOH directory of the phone system.

2) Expense.  ‘We don’t need this anymore. Our phone system comes with FREE on-hold music.’  To save money, the IT staff chooses a default program rather than the custom program; and they think it’s a good idea.  They couldn’t be more wrong. Default programs are merely place holders, like the fake family portraits in the picture frames at the store. Those pictures are meant to be replaced immediately.  So is the default on-hold program of your phone system. 

3) Importance.  ‘I have more important things to do.’  I can’t tell you how many times I have heard this sentence.  There is nothing more important to the success of your business than how you treat your customers; whether it is in person, online, or on-hold. Your frontline staff knows this.  Your IT staff needs to be reminded of this fact.

Your caller’s time is valuable.  That is why it is worth the relatively small monthly expense for your professionally produced, creative on-hold advertising program.  It is important to create an audio portrait of your business for everyone placed on hold, one that is specifically designed to reinforce your image with every call.  In a nutshell, that’s why your IT team needs to load your custom program. Now.

Set aside their intentions for a moment.  Allowing your IT professional to choose the default music provided with the phone system instead of your custom on-hold advertising program makes as much sense as letting the Marketing Director save money by cutting your IT budget; eliminating the firewall completely, then using all the default settings and passwords for your network security protocols.  They are too busy to deal with this anyway. After all, the computers come with McAfee Security Software for FREE.  Besides, the Marketing Team has more important things to do. 

With that kind of thinking, the potential damage to your company could be staggering.  Precisely.

Be intentional about sharing the importance of this vital and intimate piece of your overall marketing strategy with your IT Department.  This way, they will understand the importance of loading every update made to your on-hold advertising program as soon as it arrives in their in-box.  Then, turn them loose to do what they do best – focusing on your IT infrastructure. 

Leave the on-hold advertising (and the security of your network) to the experts. Your IT Department, Marketing Team, and more importantly, your customers will thank you for it.

Tom McTee, Super-Genius

Tom McTee